I am writing to you, the younger version of me, the wild kid always with a smile who maybe didn’t have the finesse and style but could weather any situation; tribulation or trial. I could tell you to pinch yourself and cherish the huge moments, to breathe in the adrenalin when you walk on to stage in front of 40,000 people swaying in motion. I want to tell you that mindfulness is the key, to live in the moment but I know your response would be ‘what the hell does that mean’.
You will struggle in school but excel in Theatre and Art, you will be diagnosed ADHD but not know that is what sets you apart. You will be a naughty kid that some teachers will like but ultimately you will discover your true self a lot later in life. It will lead you into trouble and bad decisions, but listen kid, with age definitely will come wisdom.
You will walk a path that not many in this country had done before you will try in vain to open up minds but have many, many more close the door. Time and time again you will be told that rapping is not a career that Australians are not meant to rap and especially not about beer. You will be ridiculed and teased at school and told to stop acting like a try hard but those same bullies years later will be massive fans of your band we call die-hards. The industry you are in is treacherous and dark, the managers, the agents, the labels won’t necessarily have your best interests at heart. Don’t be deflated by the set backs and the disappointment cause this will be remedied by the good times and enjoyment..
Your band Downsyde is a band of brothers, lifelong friends and that will always be there for each other. Together you will soar to the highest of heights and get on an unstoppable roll and achieve all your lifelong goals before you get too old. You will tour the country with nearly all of your idols, Public Enemy, Naughty By Nature, Cypress Hill and many more that remind you that its all real and that your life can be fulfilled. Your will win a stack of awards and hang with Drew Barrymore and carry it all with so much pride while you’re having a ball but remember … the party must end. You will lose good friends to suicide and drugs, from Cancer and bruv, you will feel the pain of grief that is so intense that you succumb to finding anything to make yourself numb. But your young and have friends and family that will rally round you when you’re down and don’t ever forget that those people are around and don’t wait till it’s too far gone, go see them now!!
I write this letter to my younger self with some form of resentment how he thought he was a rockstar but that path was not a life of contentment but to his credit he came to his senses. You will start to realize the power of words and slowly a vision will emerge for the future you feel other young fellas’ derserve.
You will go on to discover that music is a tool for change, that is can be so much more than a studio session or a gig on stage. You will learn your gift is something that heals, a moment of clarity that makes you feel that your true self, for so long has been concealed. From schools, to youth centres, detention and prison you will learn that therapy can be making a beat or writing words to a rhythm. You will thrive in the most challenging environments, where young people are so lost they spend years in confinement and just need someone to listen you must near fear the potential for violence. Music in rap form is a repetitive but awesome loop that will help you to change lives, especially the youth.
You will be a proud Dad, married with 3 kids of your own and build a happy life where never again will you be alone. I’m proud of you dude, be who you are and stand tall because, to me, you really are an Optimist that transformed.